Saturday, April 24, 2010

Double standards of going green

We just celebrated Earth Day and Earth Hour. I am for these two concepts to try and save the environment. A lot of organizations are going green and i had an opportunity to see first hand how one organization is going green and the double standards within that organization in implementing this.

Let me recount my experience. There were no paper/plastic cups at the coffee/tea/cold drink/water dispensers. When i looked around i found coffee mugs and then realised that we had to use those to drink anything. A very noble idea to save paper and the environment - but what about water. In a city like Hyderabad where water is a problem i was observing that each time someone drank from those mugs they would wash it and then again wash it after it has been drunk from. Now you might wonder why was it washed twice - the reason is the person who used the mug washed it because he used it. The person who was going to drink from that mug washed it because he did not know if the person who last used it washed it. So with the intention of saving paper are we wasting other resources.

Next we were to have a meeting to discuss a document. We were 4 of us in the meeting and since there was no projector/computer in the meeting room there were 4 color print outs of 20 pages each that were taken just for that meeting. I do not need to elaborate any further on the possible number of trees that must have gone into making those 80 pages for that 1 hour meeting. The meeting after ours too there were quite a few of them holding print outs which only shows that almost everyone that goes into that meeting room ends up taking print outs for the meeting. How can one save paper in this situation. Every conference room big or small should have a computer monitor/projector from which users should be able to remote desktop their own machine and open the document that is being discussed.

My point is it is important to go green and think in that way for all organizations. But there is no point implementing it in only certain aspects of the organization. Every function of the organization should be thought through and a unified approach implemented to truly go green. It is only when such a unified approach is implemeted with every member of the organization on board with what is being done and the effects of their efforts will such initiatives really be effective. Otherwise it is only on paper and words but not in implementation and real effect.

Another thing that I have noticed is that the more affluent the country/city/organization/individual the more environmentally damaging they are. But it is these affluent sections of society that do the most preaching about being green. The poorer sections of society anyway do not have the money to be environmentally damaging in a big way so there is no point really preaching to them. So it is the affluent members of society that should seriously introspect the way they live their lives and implement going green in their own little ways.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Awesome Indiblogger meet

It was great to be back at the Indiblogger meet after more than 2 years. The meet was held at the Fortune Select Manohar hotel near the Begumpet Airport and it was great to meet some old friends that i got acquainted with in the last meet and it was nice catching up with them after so long. I also got to meet a lot of new friends and learnt about their interesting blogs that I am sure to be busy reading over the next few days.

The meet started off on time with some entertaining videos on a mystery blogger who wanted to come all the way from Germany to attend the blogger meet - the Indiblogger ice breaker spoof is always very entertaining. After that it was the 30 seconds of fame where each participant in the bloggers meet could introduce themselves and their blog. There were a lot of interesting bloggers with a mixture of the young and the old, the quirky funny bloggers to the serious bloggers. There were bloggers who blog about stories, dreams, inner voices and a lot of other varied subjects.

After this there was an interesting session where each of the participants were given a chart to wear around their neck and anyone could scribble anything on the chart. This was a wonderful idea to collect blog address' that one can then go through without the fear of forgetting the address of the blog. This went on for quite some time but the time just flew during this session as i was meeting a lot of interesting people and getting to know them better.

The quiz that followed was very informative and interesting. Came to know about a lot of things which included Fake Steve Jobs and one red paper clip. This was followed by some lovely food and enjoyable conversation.

Thank You Indiblogger team for a well organized event. Hope we don't have to wait another 2 years before we can have another meet here @ Hyderabad.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Khan Academy

There are a lot of universities that have made their courses online which usually involve a  professor taking a class and the class is recorded and published on the internet. These are usually complex courses that are long and very involving and it takes time and patience to complete them.

On the other hand there are courses for school children which are usually custom paid programs that cost quite a bit. These programs are delivered via custom programs for children to watch and learn.

I came across The Khan Academy which has videos for teaching children Math and Science and has a lot of videos related to banking, finance, investing, venture capital funding and so on. All these videos are done by a single person Salman using paint as a whiteboard and with him explaining the concept. The wonderful part is the simplicity of the whole delivery mechanism and the effectiveness in using this delivery mechanism to teach a concept.

All the videos are free and are available on you tube. Happy viewing and learning.